Banex plaza: Army arrests Abuja trader

The Nigerian Army has arrested a shop owner, Caleb Onyemaeachi, at Mambilla Barracks, Asokoro, Abuja, over Saturday’s clash between some soldiers and traders at Banex Square in the Federal Capital Territory.

Our correspondent learned that Onyemaechi was invited by the military authorities due to the chaos that occurred on Saturday.

The PUNCH had reported how the Military Police Corps of the Nigerian Army on Saturday night stormed Banex Plaza in Abuja and beat up passers-by and security guards.

The attack on civilians was said to be retaliation for an earlier fight that broke out between four military police and some traders at the popular electronics and telecommunications gadgets market earlier on Saturday.

The attacks by soldiers on civilians and shows of force by the military police came just hours after the FCT Commissioner of Police, Bennet Igweh, resolved the standoff between soldiers and traders at the police command.

Meanwhile, it was learned that soldiers of the Nigerian Army returned to the square on Monday morning to arrest some people they claimed were involved in the assault on their officers.

One of the people identified was Enomfon Udofia, a businessman who traded in the square but always went to the Onyemaechi store to collect products.

However, speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Caleb’s wife said her husband was detained due to the business relationship between him and Enomfon.

She noted that the army refused to release her husband and continued to mistreat him without charge.

She revealed: “My husband is currently imprisoned at Mambilla Barracks, Asokoro, and the army authorities did not allow any of his family members to visit him.

“He called me yesterday to tell me that his name had been revealed to the army, saying that he was among those who fought against them. He said he told them he had nothing to do with the situation. They later asked him to come see them, which he honored, and since then they have kept him at the Mambilla Barracks in his utility room.

“I just gave birth through surgery and I had to find him through his live location but they wouldn’t let me see him. I got fired. Last night he sent me a text saying that they tortured him a lot and broke his foot,” he added.

Nigerian military spokesperson Onyema Nwachukwu could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.